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Former legislator Isselmou Ould Abdelkader granted bail after three months in prison for criticising military regime

(MFWA/IFEX) - On 3 February 2009, the Supreme Court granted bail to Isselmou Ould Abdelkader, a former legislator, after he spent over three months in prison for criticising the country's military regime.

Ould Abdelkader was arrested on 21 October 2008 in Nouakchott by personnel of the National Gendarmerie when the country's Defence Minister lodged a complaint against him over comments he made on a live debate on national television.

In that debate, Ould Abdelkader, who is also an independent researcher, claimed that the Presidential Security Unit (BASEP) which staged the 6 August 2008 coup was made up of foreign militiamen.

He was later charged on two counts of "undermining the morale of the Mauritanian army" and "peddling falsehood".

Ould Abdelkader's comments resulted in the dismissal of Sidi Ould Lemjad, then host of the programme, and Limam Cheikh Ould Ely, the director of Mauritania TV on 9 October 2008. In addition, Cheikh Ould Ely was arrested and questioned by the National Gendarmerie on 22 October 2008

Updates the Abdelkader case:

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